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unearthed rarity of Jack White covering Blondie in the ’90s surfaces (listen)

Governors Ball 2018 - Friday
Jack White at Governors Ball 2018 (more by P Squared)

In late 1997, an aptly-named teen trio called 400 Pounds of Punk (also from St. Clair Shores) recorded a handful of tracks in a makeshift home studio at 1203 Ferdinand Street in Southwest Detroit. The track list is a sparse four songs, with the snotty From the Garbage Bin being my personal favorite. An unlisted hidden fifth track is a rude cover of Blondie’s “One Way Or Another” with vocal duties shared by the band’s lead singer Jamie Cherry and one of the session engineers, a then-unknown Jack White.

The cassette, titled He Once Ate A Small Child is, as far as I can tell, the rarest physical release of a Jack White performance. And prior to the mention here, the release was completely undocumented. I doubt more than a half-dozen people even knew about it.

The above quote is from an essay on Discogs by Third Man Records co-founder and White Stripes archivist Ben Blackwell for Cassette Week, about an unearthed 1998 cassette by a band called 400 Pounds of Punk featuring a cover of Blondie’s “One Way Or Another” with vocals by a then-unknown Jack White. The rarity is now streaming online via Discogs, and you can hear it below. It’s pretty awesome.

UPDATE: We found the mysterious Jamie Cherry and asked him for more info.

In other news, Jack White just added Brooklyn and Chicago shows to his fall tour. He’s also working on the first Raconteurs album in over a decade, which is expected in 2019. Two songs from their recent sessions will also be available on a bonus 7″ that comes with the new Third Man Records reissue of 2008’s Consolers of the Lonely.

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